Everton U-18s 2, Norwich City U-18s 4: Young Canaries book FA Youth Cup semi-final date with Nottingham Forest
- Credit: Archant
Norwich City youth team boss Neil Adams was a 'delighted' man after his young Canary charges booked their place in the last four of the FA Youth Cup last night.
The youngsters put in a top- quality performance to beat Everton 4-2 at Goodison Park and set up a two-legged semi-final at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday followed by the return leg on Tuesday, April 16.
For former Toffee Adams, it was a great night's work on his old stamping ground. Striker Carlton Morris bagged a hat-trick as City ultimately cruised through against the 10 men of Everton who had full-back Ibou Touray sent off early in the second half, when City were 3-1 to the good. 'I'm really pleased and I thought we deserved to win the game,' Adams said.
'Full credit to Everton. They're a very good side and they had us rocking for a 20 minute spell, which had they got a goal it could have been a different outcome.
'But we came through that and I think looking back, over the 90 minutes and the chances we created, we could have had more goals. I'm really pleased with the performance and the way the lads changed tactically. We asked them to change and they did it really well during the game and I'm delighted with the result and the performance.'
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Adams was also pleased who well his youngsters treated the occasion and handled the Goodison Park atmosphere.
'It's obviously a massive club and a club close to my heart as well, and they had to treat the game as normally as they can,' Adams said. 'I'm sure all of my players have never been here before.
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They watch it week in, week out on Match of the Day and all of a sudden they're thrust under the spotlight as it were, but I thought they coped with it very well.'
The former City winger also had praise for hat-trick hero Morris. 'He works his socks off,' he said.
'He's one of the best I've seen at holding the ball up. Sometimes he's too honest for his own good. He'll run the channels and do the work, but you want him in the penalty area, scoring goals because that's where he'll ultimately be judged as a centre forward.'
It took a while to finally shake the Toffees off, but Morris was the star of the show from the moment he tucked home Josh Murphy's low left- wing cross on 14 minutes.
The winger was superb all evening, and he fed Morris with a delicious through ball on 36 minutes, to allow the tall frontman to delicately chip the ball over the onrushing home keeper Mason Springthorpe and into an empty net in front of the Gwladys Street End.
The majority of the 1,093 spectators in Goodison were brought to their feet less then two minutes later when Chris Long fired low past William Britt to half the deficit. But the Canaries picked up where they left early in the second period. Joshua Murphy drove in from the right and when Springthorpe failed to hold his vicious drive, Morris was on hand to tap home after 53 minutes.
Ten minutes later City had a numerical advantage when Touray went in hard on full-back Cameron Norman with his studs showing.
Referee S Rushton had little choice but to send the Everton youngster off, but it did little to dampen the home side's enthusiasm and Long scrambled home his second after 68 minutes to bring a few jitters to the visitors. The 10-men piled forward looking for an equaliser as the crowd got behind them, but City were still proving a potent threat. Joshua Murphy was denied the goal he deserved with 12 minutes remaining as Springthorpe pulled off a fabulous save to thwart his deflected free-kick.
And with nine minutes left, Joshua Murphy had to be content with another assist as he set up brother Jacob to coolly slot past Springthorpe and seal a deserved victory.
• Norwich: Britt, Norman, Wyatt (Barker 90), McGeehan (c), McFadden, Tofollo, Ja Murphy, Hall-Johnson (Young 86), Morris, King (Randall 78), Jo Murphy. Subs not used: Lokko, Swatman.
• Everton: Springthorpe, Pennington, Touray, Kenny, Langton, Molyneux, Kennedy (Johns 82), Charsley (Jones 78), Waring (Duffus 78), Long, Grant.
Subs not used: Griffiths, Ledson.
• Attendance: 1093.